katahdin stories

I was a new CEO when I joined, and over the 14 years I’ve been a member, the business has grown sevenfold.
Dave MacKeen
Eliassen Group
Member since
"I wanted direct, candid, actionable feedback from other CEOs that I could take back to my leadership team and leverage to help efficiency and, most importantly, growth."
When I joined the Katahdin Group’s CEO Collective 14 years ago, I had just moved up from being President/CFO to CEO. I chose to be a part of a peer group because I was new to the role and lacked some of the experience necessary to meet my team's and investor's growth objectives. I considered Vistage and YPO, but realized the CEO Collective was the best fit for my needs.

My mission was clear: to shift the business from founder-led to professionally managed. Fast forward, and we've expanded the business sevenfold, north of $500M with a path toward a billion and beyond in revenue. We've successfully navigated fourteen acquisitions, weathered three PE transactions, and revamped the leadership team to propel the business forward.

My CEO Collective peers have been my steadfast companions through the highs and lows of both successful and unsuccessful acquisitions, service expansions, and reorganizations. For example, when I faced a roadblock, such as the challenge with a recent growth plan, I wrote the case and sought unbiased feedback from peers who had encountered similar hurdles. Their insights provided actionable insights, swiftly altering the trajectory of the initiative. 

The impact of being in the group has proven invaluable, delivering returns that far exceed the time and money invested in the Katahdin Group. Just as importantly, I’ve created numerous trusted connections and friendships. That’s the reason I've remained a member all these years.

I hit the ice a couple of times a week, and in hockey terms, I often see my Katahdin CEO Group as an “unfair advantage” —a perpetual power play that helps me score and the Eliassen Group team win!

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